9:15-22 The solemn transactions between God and man, are sometimes called a covenant, here a testament, which is a willing deed of a person, bestowing legacies on such persons as are described, and it only takes effect upon his death. Thus Christ died, not only to obtain the blessings of salvation for us, but to give power to the disposal of them. All, by sin, were become guilty before God, had forfeited every thing that is good; but God, willing to show the greatness of his mercy, proclaimed a covenant of grace. Nothing could be clean to a sinner, not even his religious duties; except as his guilt was done away by the death of a sacrifice, of value sufficient for that end, and unless he continually depended upon it. May we ascribe all real good works to the same all-procuring cause, and offer our spiritual sacrifices as sprinkled with Christ's blood, and so purified from their defilement.
18. Whereupon—rather, "Whence."
dedicated—"inaugurated." The Old Testament strictly and formally began on that day of inauguration. "Where the disposition, or arrangement, is ratified by the blood of another, namely, of animals, which cannot make a covenant, much less make a testament, it is not strictly a testament, where it is ratified by the death of him that makes the arrangement, it is strictly, Greek 'diathece,' Hebrew 'berith,' taken in a wider sense, a testament" [Bengel]; thus, in Heb 9:18, referring to the old dispensation, we may translate, "the first (covenant)": or better, retain "the first (testament)," not that the old dispensation, regarded by itself, is a testament, but it is so when regarded as the typical representative of the new, which is strictly a Testament.